Soccer games can be some of the most exciting times of your life. The thrill of the event, the excitement and energy surrounding the game and the adrenaline rush that comes when the players line up on the field for the first time. While the actual soccer game generates all kinds of emotions when it officially starts, the preparation for the event should actually start much sooner in the day. If you want to get ahead and gain a competitive edge on your opponents, then there are some things you need to do leading up to the games in order to get mentally and physically prepared.

How To Prepare For Your Soccer Game

Successful soccer players know that when they follow specific habits in their training that they can improve their performance come game day. You don’t necessarily need all the fancy training equipment and resources that the pros do, but what you really need is the conviction to perform and the persistence to train. With discipline, advice from experts and reading through thrive reviews on how to better focus and train your mind, you can envision success before it happens. The more work you put in both leading up to the game, and the day of the game as well, the better your performance will be. In light of that, here are some of the best ways to prepare for your soccer game.

Know the “Why”

Without a solid motivation to improve as a soccer player, you never will. Why are you actually putting in the work, the training, and the long practices? One of the best ways to find your “why” as a soccer player is to look into the future and visualize your why. Do you have plans to play soccer in college and pay your tuition? Do you think you might have a chance at a lucrative pro deal? Do you want to develop leadership and teamwork skills? Are you proving to yourself that you can do something hard? Do you want to actually fulfill your potential instead of just alluding to it? No matter what your why is, find it and reference it often to keep yourself focused.

Eat Right

As with most athletic endeavors, the fuel you put in your body is sometimes just as important as the practice you put it through. This is especially true on game day. When you’re eating sweets and heavy foods, you’ll find yourself dragging. If you aren’t eating enough carbs before game day, you may find yourself out of energy long before the match is over. Players that can discipline themselves in what they eat and focus on healthy, nutrient-rich food are likely to see much better gains both in practice and in the games themselves. Even if you don’t have the time or means to get a fully fleshed out nutrition plan from an expert, you can use the internet to find great meal plans or even just focus on getting rid of the worst parts of your diet. Maybe start by cutting out soda, sweets and fast food and see how you feel after a few weeks.

Stay Hydrated

Along with what you eat, what you drink is just as important. You need to stay well hydrated in practice and training during the week so that you perform better on the weekend during your games. One expert tip is to keep a water bottle with you on the sidelines at all times. You might supplement this with some Gatorade, or another drink with electrolytes, but bring more than you think you’ll need and take frequent water breaks.

Get Enough Sleep

Soccer is a tiring game as it is, even on a full night’s rest. If you go into game day with a less than stellar night’s sleep, your focus, instincts and reaction times may be dulled. Focus on great sleep to complement your training during the week and make sure you get your target sleep amount the night before game day. Accuracy, speed and focus are three of the main things that set you apart from the competition when it comes to soccer.